This I Believe

Kathy - Aurora, Illinois
Entered on July 27, 2007

This I believe…

Kathy Stowell

I believe the only way out is through. I believe every one of us has had or is in a situation that is painful or wonderful in some way. It could be immense credit debt with no means to pay. It might be the unexpected death of a loved one. Divorce, birthing a child, planning a wedding, telling someone a terrible secret you’ve kept your whole life, facing up to your own truths, faults, mistakes and miracles. We all have these experiences.

Some people believe in God, in Allah, or in some other deity that brings them strength and peace. Some rely on their own inner strength to get them through. Some just deny it to themselves and everyone around them, never knowing that it cannot and will not be denied forever. I believe that in every situation, we make choices. I believe that our decisions are made up of all our fears and hopes. I believe that if we just stopped and realized that no matter what we do, what we decide, what path we take – the only way out of it is to go through it. This has been a catalyst and strength for me many times in my life, usually when I am faced with the toughest decisions or the hardest times. It is what has carried me through, knowing that there will be an end to it, I will in some way or the other get through it. It is for me, my strength – I rely on it and I believe in it deeply. It motivates me to keep on keeping on.

The story that comes to mind is very recent. I made the decision to go on a medical leave of absence from work. I chose this, in part, because it sounded like a good idea at the time. I chose it because I also realized that I had been going through the same issues over and over and over again. It is time to meet the problem head on and walk through it. It is the only way I will overcome it. I choose to go to therapy two times a week, in order to understand what the underlying causes are. I choose to delve into the deepest, most private places to gain that understanding. There is a mixture of all emotions; sadness, anger, rage, happiness, denial, and even laughter. I have to learn how to relax, to alleviate the pressure I put on myself to do everything perfect. I have to learn what it is to be just me. I am finding that I do not have a clear identity, who is this person you call Kathy? What am I about? What do I believe? How do I figure that out? What do I want? Do I believe in God? Do I want to? Who will I be in a year? In two? In Twenty? When I die? I am jealous of those who know the answers for themselves.

I will relate one more story to you. This just happened this morning. I took my dog, Peanut a.k.a. Sparky, for a bike ride and walk. We went to the nearby park that has a lake. I have discovered that he LOVES the water. We went to the little dam so he could get some water to drink. There is a very steep concrete slope that goes into the water just below the dam. That is where he likes to play at catching the water. So, I go down the slope and let him play. You know that in water, an alga grows slimy green stuff that reminds me of a sea monster. Well, I slipped on it and fell ass first into the water. All the way in, head dunked and all. So there I am, in the algae water, on my butt, soaking wet and 3 miles from home. Peanut, of course, is dry and doggy laughing at me.

Well what was there to do – you guessed it – the only way out is through and so I walked back to my bike, after drying off for awhile and we went home.

I know that the only way for me to do find my way, is to simply go through it. I know that if I choose to avoid it, it will come back again and again, until I face it. The time is now. It gives me strength to know that I will come out of this feeling stronger and better for having faced it. It helps me to know that it will not last forever, even wet clothes, a green dirty behind, and a laughing dog. There is an end and a beginning. The only way to either is to go through both. This I believe.